Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Due on the First of September

This garden update was due on the first of September . . . and here we are a good three weeks later. My excuse? Uh, duh . . . wait, I'll think of something. I know! We had company on the first of the month and they demanded my attention 24/7? End of the season projects have kept me from taking the necessary pictures to include with the post? We've been sloughing off and recreating too much? Pretty lame, huh? I've thought about this post every day for the past three weeks but it just hasn't happened. So looks like the very last of my summer's first -of-the-month documented garden pictures isn't going to be truly accurate, but here goes anyway.

Raised Beds, June 1st

Raised Beds, July 1st

Raised Beds, August 1st

Raised Beds, September 22nd

The beds are looking pretty empty and bare as I get them ready for an application of compost yet this fall. I still have a bed of carrots to harvest, some Swiss chard looking as large and healthy as it has all season, cherry tomatoes that are (for some reason) continuing to ripen (and split) in this cool weather, a bed of slicing cucs and one of lemon cucs that are still producing, the herb bed and my experimental "cage" of potatoes under mulch. I guess I'm not as "done" with the raised beds as I thought!

Field Garden, June 1st

Field Garden, July 1st

Field Garden, August 1st

Field Garden, September 22nd

The strawberry plants that we mowed down have grown back into lush little bushes that make the field garden look more like June than September. We'll cover them with a heavy layer of mulch for the winter after we've had a couple of hard freezes.

Half the row of sunflowers at the far end of the field garden were toppled by strong winds. No great loss as even those still standing won't have developed seeds worth harvesting by the time frost calls a halt to their season.

My Red Kuri squash. Sigh. The vines are pretty much kaputz and the thirty or so fruits probably aren't going to ripen any more now. The last time I checked, they still weren't fit for human consumption.

We haven't dug our four rows of hilled-up potatoes yet but that's on the schedule to be done soon. We're expecting a good crop from them.

Pumpkin Patch, June 1st

Pumpkin Patch, July 1st

Pumpkin Patch, August 1st

Pumpkin Patch, September 22nd

I really kick myself for not having gotten a picture of the buckwheat we planted as our second cover crop in the pumpkin patch. It was impressive . . . over three feet tall and covered with a gazillion white blossoms that the honey bees loved. Alas and alack, before I got a picture, hubby mowed it down and then a few days later tilled it into the soil. The soil in the pumpkin patch has shown such improvement since we've made a concentrated effort to help it by growing two green manure crops on it this summer and then tilling them in. Now it's planted out to winter wheat and we'll see how that crop does.

End of another gardening season and I'm glad I made the effort to document it with these pictures for comparison. It's been fun and informative to look back on the progression of the garden from early summer til now when, for us up here in the Northwoods, it's nearly time to put away the trowel and spading fork and dust off the snow shovel and plow.


Susan said...

Keeping a journal is always helpful, but having photographic evidence can't be beat. You can join me on my boat in deNile as I refuse to accept it's mid-September. There's plenty of room, heehee. My cherry tomatoes continue to ripen and split as well. Just when I've gotten up the nerve to yank the plants out, I go out and end up eating one and put it off again. Do we get to see your garden in December? ;o)

Erin said...

I love these photos! So what do you do with all the plants when you rip them out? Pile em up and let the poultry get the bugs? That really got me this year, I had some disease symptoms and lots of bugs but no poultry, so I had to bag it all up on the curb to the tune of about 18 clear bags and 2 brush piles... I think hubby usually burns the stuff but I couldn't get the darn burn barrel to get a good burn started! I think most years I just rip out, pitch over my shoulder and the rubbish fairy (hubby?) makes it disappear LOL!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - A December garden picture post? Sure. It will either be barren and ugly as all heck or snow covered. (Let's hope for the snow cover.) But I've made a note to myself to do the post!

Erin - The plants go to both our poultry and Chicken Mamas. They're plenty for everybody. What is too coarse or unappetizing for the poultry goes into one of our compost heaps . . . to be returned to the garden in a year or so as good fertilizer and/or soil.

Kaytee said...

I love the pictures! And I would absolutely love to have the raised bed setup that you do. How big are those beds?

jane said...

Your gardens are soooo neat. You must either have a staff or you never leave the garden. I try to keep mine semi-neat but by September I am so tired of gardening and canning I just give up. You have great resolve to stick with it.

Mama Pea said...

Kaytee - Our raised beds are all 4' x 8' and I love them for certain crops because I can plant them extremely intensively. But I also need the tradition garden (my field garden) for things such as sunflowers, potatoes, peas, beans, pickling cucs, and other things that require lots of space.

jane - Ah yes, my gardening staff of 10. In my dreams! (I think I could keep them busy!) I've learned that by keeping on top of the weeds/weed seeds I have less of them all the time. And if the truth were to be told, there are more weeds out there this time of year than you can see! I think the gardening enthusiasm of all of us starts to wane this time of year. I'm pooped; how about you?

Lorie said...

Wonderful photos, Mama Pea. You have such a beautiful garden and abundant space. You are certainly inspiring to me. Thanks for sharing your bountiful garden with us.

Mama Pea said...

Lorie - Gosh, thank you so much for the kind words. I keep expanding the garden space thinking I need more, more, more but this year it hit me that there are only the two of us now and do I really need to knock myself out planting so much? It's just that I love gardening and there are always new things to try!! Next year we'll probably expand the Pumpkin Patch area because the raspberries are in a spot that is just too shaded so I need to bring them up farther in the yard away from the tree line. And after failing at two different attempts to get asparagus started, I realize it needs more full sun, too, so that will be planted probably in it's own permanent spot in the field garden. Then I'll need to expand that again so I can fit everything in there. Always something.

Stephanie said...

I am so grateful for you sharing what has worked, and what hasn't. For a newbie like me, it is a blessing to have someone share their experiences.

Happy Fall!!

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie -Oh gosh, we ALL learn from each other. It's a continual growing/learning process that I don't think ever ends. I couldn't begin to list all the things I've learned from bloggers talking about their gardens just this past season. I think we're all glad to share our successes and failures. (Don't forget failures mean you're TRYING!) said...
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